I love watching food television. Food Network is perhaps my fave with all the shows they have to offer including the iconic Iron Chef series. Its rare though, if ever, that I will want to use a recipe that I’ve seen on a TV show. I’m inspired by the chefs and yeah, I’ll use tricks that I’ve picked up from shows, but I can’t recall the last time I made a point to recreate a recipe that I saw on TV.
An episode of Easy Entertaining With Michael Chiarello changed that.
Getting the Goods
The day after watching the show, we headed to one of my daughter’s favorite donut spots, Lucky’s Donuts in Downtown El Segundo. This family run business has some of the best, freshly made donuts in the South Bay. Unfortunately, I wasn’t looking for fresh donuts! On the show, Chiarello called for using day old donuts. Basically, the “bread” for the recipe needs to be just a little bit stale so its firm enough to soak up the custard that makes the pudding. Lucky’s doesn’t have day-old donuts.
Fortunately, they had some donuts that were made the night before; that’s about as stale as I could get so I took them. I wanted to go for a single variety for the 16 cake donuts that the recipe called for, but I had to make due with an even mix of plain and whole wheat. I figured that if someone gave me crap for making a high calorie dish, I could at least come back with: Hey! the donuts are whole wheat!
A quick stop by the grocery store was needed for the remaining ingredients then it was home to whip up the pudding.
Use a Big Blender
The recipe calls for using a food processor to mix up the ingredients that form the custard: the butter, sugar, eggs, cream and so on. This works well if you have a huge food processor. Unfortunately, my little food processor that could…um, couldn’t and I switched to the blender. Be forewarned if you try this recipe, we’re talking about a lot of liquid!
Once the custard was blended, I set my attention on prepping the donuts in the 9×13 pan. Yes, I sampled a few peices. I just wanted to make sure they were fresh stale enough for the recipe.
After prepping the custard and donuts, marrying the two together, and then placing the pan in the oven, I waited anxiously for the outcome of the dessert. The wait was a long one, with the kitchen full of the scents of cinnamon and vanilla.
The Finished Product
OMG! The wait was worth it. This dish is really a treat! Moist, rich, rummy; and sweet, cakey donuty…all in the same bite. Heaven! I must admit though, it IS possible to have too much of a good thing. I just knew I was going to have at least two bowls of this but after one, I was content. Next time I make this dish, it will certainly be for a group. Nicole and I felt like gluttons every time we thought about how many donuts were in the pan. How many visits to the gym would be in order if we finished it between the two of us!? We didn’t finish it (thank goodness), but we did make a valiant attempt!
So let me know when you and a few friends are headed over; I’m looking forward to making this dessert again!
Cake Donut Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
16 cake doughnuts
Rum Sauce Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound confectioners’ sugar
Dark rum, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, combine butter and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.
Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.
Make the rum sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan, and take off the heat. Add confectioners’ sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add rum, to taste. Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and allow to soak in.